FRESNO, Calif. -- Winning its fourth straight dual and knocking off its highest ranked opponent this season, the Bulldog wrestling team downed No. 11 Wyoming, 21-12 on Sunday afternoon in a Big 12 dual at the Save Mart Center.
In front of 2,032 Red Wave fans, Fresno State (8-6, 4-3 B12) won six of 10 matches over Wyoming (12-4, 3-2 B12), including the final three of the dual, highlighted by a fall from redshirt freshman Jacob Wright at 157 pounds along with five wins by decision.
How It Happened
With the dual getting started at heavyweight, sophomore AJ Nevills improved to 6-1 on the season against Big 12 opponents with a 4-2 win over No. 21 ranked Brian Andrews. Fighting back from a 2-0 deficit, Nevills had a pair of escapes to tie the score at 2-2 and a takedown with a minute left in the second period proved to be the difference in the match giving the Bulldog a 4-2 win.
Holding an early 3-0 lead, the Cowboys answered back with three straight wins at 125, 133 and 141 pounds to take a 9-3 lead in the dual. The 'Dogs stayed in all three matches losing to a ranked Wyoming opponent in each match.
Redshirt freshman Robert Garcia IV fell narrowly 5-4 to No. 16 Cole Verner at 125 pounds tying the match at 4-4 with a takedown with 0:28 remaining in the third period, but Verner was able to escape for the hard-fought win. Fellow redshirt freshman Gary Joint fought tough at 133 pounds falling 6-2 to No. 11 Montorie Bridges, a 2018 All-American, as the Wyoming redshirt sophomore used a four-point near fall in the third period to gain the lead and secure the win.
The Cowboys' No. 13-ranked Sam Turner downed the 'Dogs Chris Deloza, 5-2 at 141 pounds, but the Bulldogs' Khristian Olivas answered back at 149 pounds as the nation's No. 12 ranked grappler topped Jaron Jensen, 9-6 using a third period reversal to break a 6-6 tie and added a point for riding time for the win.
Opening the second half of the dual with Wright at 157 pounds, the redshirt freshman from Dinuba battled the Cowboys' Jed Loveless tough taking a 3-1 lead before a late third period takedown sent Loveless to his back where Wright secured his fourth fall of the season pinning Loveless in 6:32 and giving the 'Dogs a 12-9 lead in the dual.
Wyoming won its final match of the dual at 165 pounds as No. 8 Branson Ashworth topped Isaiah Hokit, 8-3 to tie the dual at 12-12 heading into the final three matches.
After winning the final four matches of its win over Oregon State on Thursday night, the 'Dogs were again clutch down the stretch winning its final three matches against the Cowboys as redshirt junior Dominic Kincaid came up big at 174 pounds with a 5-3 win over Anthony Lamardo.
Redshirt freshman Jackson Hemauer, ranked No. 25 in the NCAA Coaches rankings and by Trackwrestling, knocked off his team-leading fifth ranked opponent of the season topping No. 19 Tate Samuelson, 5-1. After Samuelson scored first with an escape to start the second period, it was all Hemauer from there as a takedown with one second remaining in the frame gave him a 2-1 lead as one more takedown and a point for riding time gave him his 17th win of the season.
Leading 18-12 heading into the final match of the dual at 197 pounds, junior Josh Hokit won his seventh straight match with a hard-fought 4-2 win over No. 20 Cale Davidson using a takedown near the end of the second period to break a 2-2 tie as the Clovis native held on in the final two minutes for the win.
Head Coach Troy Steiner
On this afternoon's dual win over No. 11 Wyoming....
"We did not want to let this dual slip away and guys came out and wrestled hard and aggressive. The thing I liked about this dual was we were in every match and were in it to win it. The fight the guys have is what I have seen really seen change over the last month is they expect to win when they step on the mat."
On getting wins by Wright & Kincaid.....
"They went out to win their matches and not just keep it close. It doesn't matter who you wrestle and you have to give yourself a chance and they did it tonight."
On defeating a second ranked opponent this season....
"It is big as we get ready for the Big 12 Championships and ultimately for the NCAA Tournament and when we have these opportunities to prepare ourselves for those and with only three duals left, we need to enjoy what we are doing and it is great to do it in front of our home fans."
- Olivas and Nevills are now each 6-1 in Big 12 duals while Josh Hokit is a perfect 4-0.
- Hemauer knocked off his team-high fifth ranked opponent this season while it was each of Nevills' and Josh Hokit's third apiece.
- It was Wright's fourth fall of the season.
- The Bulldogs have now had at least 2,000 fans at all six duals this season averaging 2,408 per contest (14,447 total through six duals).
Fresno State takes its final road trip of the regular season staying in the state of California on Saturday for a pair of Pac-12 duals traveling to CSU Bakersfield (5-7) at 1 p.m. for Feud on the Field before making the trip to face Cal Poly (0-5) at 7 p.m. in San Luis Obispo.
285: No. 20/-/-/20 AJ Nevills (FS) dec. No. 21/-/-/24 Brian Andrews (WYO), 4-2 | FS 3, WYO 0
125: No. 19/16/18/- Cole Verner (WYO) dec. Robert Garcia IV (FS), 5-4 | FS 3, WYO 0
133: No. 11/12/11/12 Montorie Bridges (WYO) dec. Gary Joint (FS), 6-2 | WYO 6, FS 3
141: No. 17/13/18/19 Sam Turner (WYO) dec. Sam Turner (FS), 5-2 | WYO 9, FS 3
149: No. 19/18/17/12 Khristian Olivas (FS) dec. Jaron Jensen (WYO), 9-6 | WYO 9, FS 6
157: Jacob Wright (FS) wins by fall over Jed Loveless (WYO), 6:32 | FS 12, WYO 9
165: No. 9/8/9/10 Branson Ashworth (WYO) dec. Isaiah Hokit (FS), 8-3 | FS 12, WYO 12
174: Dominic Kincaid (FS) dec. Anthony Lamardo (WYO), 5-3 | FS 15, WYO 12
184: No. 25/-/-/25 Jackson Hemauer (FS) dec. No. 20/20/-/19 Tate Samuelson (WYO), 5-1 | FS 18, WYO 12
197: No. 13/13/13/14 Josh Hokit (FS) dec. No. 20/20/-/22 Cale Davidson (WYO), 4-2 | FS 21, WYO 12